‘Pitbull’: PMB businesses biting back

2010-10-22 00:00

“NOWBITEBACK”, a campaign by disgruntled businesspeople who are taking on the Msunduzi Municipality for “unfair” electricity disconnections, is gaining momentum.

The campaign, which has close to 50 supporters, was recently offered financial assistance by a retired businessman.

A legal team is assisting people who have had their electricity disconnected by the municipality’s Operation Pitbull — a drive to deal with rampant electricity theft in the city.

Many of the businesses have lodged disputes with the municipality, saying they did not knowingly steal electricity. Their lawyer was due to meet with the municipality this week.

Most of the problems centre around the issue of “incorrect” main circuit breakers (MCBs) being installed.  

The “Nowbiteback” team have gathered evidence that shows that in the past it was common practice to fit whichever MCB was available in the municipality’s storeroom.

The campaigners have said they are not going to give up until their names have been cleared and the statement by administrator Johann Mettler on the TV programme Carte Blanche — that 75% of Pietermaritzburg businesses are, in one way or another, stealing electricity — is withdrawn.

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